Beef exports help local farmers
NAPPAN - During a visit to the Maritime Beef Testing Station here on Saturday, CumberlandColchester-Musquodoboit Valley MP Scott Armstrong talked about beef exports.
“We now have a free trade agreement with the European Economic Union, so there’s more and more markets open to beef cattle without tariffs on them,” said Armstrong following a funding announcement attended by local beef farmers. “Local farmers can compete on a level playing field with those European countries.”
Brian Trueman, a beef farmer in Truemanville, says open, free markets help local beef producers.
“On the national scale, any time they can pick up export markets that helps a little bit,” said Trueman. “It doesn’t effect us so much here (in Nova Scotia) other than the fact that, if the national demand is there for exports, it helps boost prices a little bit.
Recent free trade deals have helped local beef farmers.
“Over the last four or five years the export industry to some countries like Russia and Kazakhstan is something that some of us in this part of the country have been able to tap into,” said Trueman. “If you would have asked me 10 years ago would I ever be exporting cattle to Kazakhstan I would have said you are nuts.”
Tensions between Canada and Russia means trade deals with Russia have gone up in smoke.
“Now that Mr. Harper (prime minister of Canada) and Mr. Putin (prime minister of Russia) aren’t getting along very good those things are gone,” said Trueman, as he snaps his fingers to emphasize how quick trade with Russia has vanished into thin air. “You take advantage of those deals when they happen but some things we have no control over.”
Trueman would like to see China open their doors to Canadian beef.
“If every Chinese person ate hamburger we’d be rich,” said Trueman. “We aren’t there yet. I’ll never see it, but some will.”